It's time for the railway babus to take lessons at countries premiere engineering and management institutes to enhance their skills.
The Indian Railways will be sending its 20 officers from various services to IITs and IIMs for rail-related research and advanced studies.
"Fellowship scheme for railway officers has been introduced at central and state universities and centres for excellence, like IITs, IIMs and IIS," said a senior railway board officer.
He said a scheme for encouraging railway employees to acquire higher qualifications at Master's level in IITs, IIMs and institutes of repute will also be introduced.
The IR has issued a notice for admission for MTech programme for 20 railway officers from the disciplines of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering.
An official said the training programme will also be opened for officers in railway PSUs, like IRCTC, IRCON and others.
Services of professional agencies would be used for evaluation of railway-training programmes. A policy has been framed in this regard, the official added.
According to sources, the railways will be spending nearly Rs 5 lakh for each of these officers during their two years of course.
AIMED AT UPDATING OFFICERS' SKILLS
"In keeping with the need to maintain pace with fast-changing transport environment and need for innovation and modernisation, the railway board has decided to update and upgrade the professional and technical knowledge and skills of the railway officers by enrolling them into academic programmes in premiere technical and management institutes in the country," said a communication from the railway ministry to all railway training institutes.
Sources said the Master's degree in Engineering will be helpful in improving the passenger safety standards in the railways as well as improving the overall train operations.
Focus will be on upgrading the tracks, signalling and electrification system on the railway tracks so as to improve punctuality and speed of the trains. This assumes greater significance in wake of the railways introducing high-speed rail network in the country.
The Indian Railways had signed an MoU with University of Mumbai in April last year for setting up a centre for railway research. A railway ministry official said an academic services agreement was signed with Beijing Jiaotong University, China, for training of 100 officers of various departments in heavy-haul technology.